Today we close out our series on important topics to cover before getting married.
12. Do you know all the ways I experience love ? Gary Chapman’s 1992 book, “The 5 Love Languages,” introduced the concept of “love languages” as a means of categorizing how we experience love. These categories include affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. It is import to know how your partner experiences love, and strive to express love to them in the ways that are meaningful to them. This may be easier if you share love languages. It becomes more of a stretch when the way you experience love is different from the way your partner does. This is where intentional effort becomes key. It is important to discuss not only your love language preferences, but also the willingness of each person to strive to speak the others love language.
13. What do you admire about me, and what are your pet peeves? Can you imagine that the challenges could outweighing the admiration? All couples come up against what John Gottman calls the “perennial issues”. These are issues or conflicts that are rooted in the differences that are inherent when two unique individuals decide to share a life together. They are often related to differences in personality/constitution, values, upbringing, and goals or priorities. It is important to develop ways of navigating your differences, and one way of counterbalancing their potential negative effect is to cultivate admiration for each other. Look for all the big and little ways you appreciate and admire your partner. Discuss the areas where you are different, and also the things you admire prior to getting married, and expect that both of these will need tending to after the big day.
14. How/where do you see us 10 years from now? 25 years? 50 years? Discuss your relationship vision on as many fronts as you can imagine. Does your vision align in key ways? Where will you need to negotiate? What are your thoughts on the concept of “renegotiating the contract” at various points in your marriage. It has been said that the person you are and they marriage you have at different intervals along the way is quite different form the person you are today, or the marriage you have on day one. What are your thoughts on this?
There is no way to cover all the idiosyncracies of a marriage, but doing a deep dive into these topics will put you on more solid ground as you make one of the biggest decisions of your life. Be aware and prepared as you make the decision to hitch your wagon to someones star. Until next time, peace.